Example of the Danger of Vast Databases of Personal Information
Acxiom, one of the world's largest consumer database companies, was hacked according to this report. What is most interesting is that it was done by someone from inside, and not an external hacker:
Acxiom says a former employee of one of its client companies downloaded financial and personal information while he was still working for the client company.This is exactly the sort of thing that the government keeps saying about the databases it wants to create based on data from multiple companies like Acxiom.
The reporter in this article found one of those helpful security people who downplay the risk of you losing your personal information:
How concerned should you be as a credit card or loan customer? The company and local computer experts say the risk to individuals is actually small.
I'm glad Mr. Nichols thinks the chances and ability to get the data are so low. Too bad he ignores the fact that the data was already stolen. What is also not mentioned is that, last time I heard, Acxiom had data on over 150 million US consumers, or more than half the US population. 10% of that total is a lot of data.
"I'm not worried, because the chances and the ability of someone to steal a password and the percentage of passwords being stolen and the ability to get to this data is much less than,... someone stealing your mail," said Robert Nichols, Computerperson.com.
Fortunately, company has managed to close the barn door:
Acxiom says it's contacted all affected client companies and it's changing all the passwords on the one server computer that was hacked. This will make that estimated 10% of their consumer financial data much safer. I fell better already.
Posted by Mark Friday, August 08, 2003 11:33:00 PM |